Diane Prather: 2013 Colorado State 4-H Conference was a success

Each year, 4-H members from across the state look forward to attending the Colorado State 4-H Conference held at the Colorado State University campus. Conference attendees stay in residence halls during the event. This week’s “Pipi’s Pasture” covers the conference.

This year’s conference theme was “4-H … The Road to Success! What’s YOUR H?” (This year, Colorado 4-H has been using “What’s YOUR H?” during conferences, workshops and other events. The four H’s in 4-H refer to head, heart, health and hands.)

State officers, collegiates and those involved with a special RamTrax workshop arrived on campus June 17 to get everything ready for the conference. Other attendees arrived June 18.

Two 4-H members from Moffat County attended the conference this year: Mitchell Davidson and Samantha Pearce. Mitchell is the District 11 vice-president. Chaperones attending were Stephanie Pearce and JD Sexton.

There’s always a lot going on at the state conference. The 4-H members have different reasons for participating in the events. For example, some attendees compete in contests. These include contests in parliamentary procedure, public speaking (prepared and impromptu), horse, livestock and consumer and family judging, hippology and horse, livestock and consumer and family bowls. Participants compete in some of these contests by teams.

An important requirement of judging events is to give reasons to the judges. Members competing in parliamentary procedures must complete a test before the actual contest. According to Moffat County 4-H Agent JD Sexton, the hippology contest is all about horse anatomy and parts. That contest includes slides and written exam, stations, team problems and work at the campus equine center.

Other 4-H members attend the conference as senators and spend a lot of their time in meetings involved with the election of state officers. Moffat County’s Davidson and Pearce attended the event as senators.

Other members may wish to gain knowledge through workshops. This year’s workshops involved the H’s.

Sexton said that the workshops were motivational because some focused on leadership. Two blocks of time were set aside for youth and adult workshops. They were presented by Juwon Melvin (heart), Nick Scott (hands) and Dan Jaspersen (head).

Adults participated in workshops also, such as “A Leader’s Forum,” designed to help them with leadership skills.

Before the election June 20, state officer candidates completed interviews. They gave prepared speeches at the opening program June 18 and took part in a state officer workshop. Senators met to decide which candidates would best represent their counties. Some of these discussions included districts — Moffat County being in District 11. A live auction of state officers also was held.

Besides all of the contests, workshops and preparation for elections, conference attendees watched a hypnotism program by Al Snyder, took part in a dodge ball tournament, attended a speech by Nick Scott and an IFYE Around the World Celebration and took the RamTrax bus to visit various agriculture “colleges” on campus, such as the equine reproduction center.

There also was a picnic and three dances. The last night of the conference, June 20, everyone boarded buses for Fort Collins Hilton Hotel where the Banquet and Recognition Program was held. This was a formal event.

Four special awards luncheons were held during the day June 20. The purpose of the luncheons was to present awards for livestock, horse and consumer choices judging and bowl and speech awards. One luncheon was for non-contestants.

On June 21, conference attendees had breakfast and then departed for home, taking new skills and ideas back to their counties.

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